What value for money really means and how to achieve it

A costed proposal to fit Grenfell Tower with fire resistant cladding was dropped after a cost cutting programme labelled ‘value engineering’ according to an article in yesterdays’ Guardian.


Yet the non-combustible cladding would not only have saved 72 lives. The ‘cheaper’ proposal using plastic-filled panels and insulation foam with a combined calorific value equivalent to 32000 litres of petrol ended up costing more after the council and tenant management organisation agreed extra budget to its supplier.


What a terrible illustration of everything that is worst in public procurement.


And what a sick joke to call this deathly cost cutting ‘value engineering’.


I’m pleased to hear from BSI and colleagues in East Anglia that piloting of the Trust Test for public procurement have now begun.


This idea originated in Tomorrow’s Company’s 2013 Tomorrow’s Business Forms report.


It has the potential to help public bodies select suppliers whose values, business model and behaviours are robust and trustworthy.


Political leaders who are serious about improving business conduct might do well to follow Gandhi’s advice. Live the change you want to see in the world. Start with procurement!